Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a toxic gas that you cannot see or smell. CO is given off whenever fuel or other carbon-based materials are burned, such as furnaces or boilers, fireplaces, gas stoves and ovens, gasoline and diesel generators, as well as vehicles. Carbon monoxide is also known as the “silent killer”, due to it being colorless, odorless, tasteless, and non-irritating. People can be experiencing poisoning and not even realize it before they lose consciousness and are unable to escape the dangers. Carbon monoxide exposure can lead to serious brain injuries and even death to victims.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional carbon monoxide poisonings account for approximately 400 to 500 deaths and more than 15,000 emergency department visits in the United States annually. Some of the most common symptoms of monoxide poisoning include sudden fatigue, headaches, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Anybody can sustain carbon monoxide poisoning, however, those most at risk are unborn babies, infants, the elderly, and those with respiratory problems. Various parties can be held liable for carbon monoxide exposure. They can include companies that manufacture defective products, leading to a carbon monoxide leak. In other cases, utility or gas companies are responsible for inspecting and maintenance of appliances or lines that could produce carbon monoxide.
Unfortunately, many instances of carbon monoxide poisoning are caused by the careless or negligent actions of other people, such as property owners, landlords, manufacturers of defective products, and more. The attorneys at Walkup Melodia Kelly & Schoenberger have helped victims of carbon monoxide poisoning secure the compensation they deserve. Our team obtained a settlement of more than $12 million on behalf of a middle-aged professional who sustained brain damage from a carbon monoxide leak into his hotel room while he was a paying guest. His room was located directly above the hotel’s mechanical room, which powers the hotel pool and spa heater. Due to the poorly maintained heater and ventilation system, dangerous levels of carbon monoxide accumulated in our client’s room. Our client sustained significant brain damage and was left permanently disabled. In another matter related to carbon monoxide poisoning, our team represented a couple who were residential tenants and suffered CO exposure and injuries due to a defective apartment wall heater. We made sure that the heater was preserved for evidence and was evaluated by a well-known expert who fully examined the system. Our expert found flaws in both the installation and maintenance of the system.
It is important to know how to protect yourself and others from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Some ways you can do that is by installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home that can provide early detection and warning and prevent unintentional carbon monoxide related illness or deaths. It is also important to have a qualified technician inspect all fuel-burning appliances as well as having them inspect the heating system once a year. If your garage is attached to your home, it’s important to never leave your vehicle running while it is in there. If you or someone you care about has been exposed to carbon monoxide due to the negligence of another person or entity, it’s important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. The attorneys at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger will investigate every aspect of your case and help you obtain the justice you deserve.